Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Torah and Medicine

I always find it weird how obsessed Modern Orthodox Jews are with medical ethics topics. I mean, why do so many people care about the exact halachic definition of death, who don't care about the exact halachic definition of intent while performing a mitzvah? Why is the halachic discussion about terminating pregnancy more interesting than the halachic discussion about terminating a business partnership? Why are these shiurim and others like them so heavily advertised, while I have yet to hear about a lecture series entitled "Topics in Sefeikot" or a shiur on "Shitat haRambam on Edut Shebichtav"?

The obvious explanation is that so many MO Jews are going to be doctors, and not only for financial reasons, but also due to a bit of idealism that medicine is a religiously valuable profession. So they naturally prefer topics which they know about, and which make their practice a little bit more religiously valuable. All of which is perfectly logical.

But still, for us outsiders, it's weird. Personally, I'm waiting for a shiur on lossy dielectrics. Failing that, I will settle for a discussion of the hashkafic implications of cascode differential amplifiers. If I were to give a chaburah on either of those topics, which of you wouldn't come?


Jewish Exile said...

I completely agree - I wonder about that myself often. One reason is that's its a "torah u'maddah" topic, at least nominally. And I await a shiur on the black sholes option pricing formula.

Anonymous said...

that was me, btw